The extraordinary efforts of Rural Fire Service volunteer Darcy McCann in going above and beyond the call of duty have been recognised by Member for Bathurst Paul Toole.
Mr Toole presented Mr McCann, the captain of the RFS Cullen Bullen Brigade, with a NSW Government Community Service Award for his role in helping protect the community during the devastating summer bushfires of 2019-20.
He received a specially made plaque and framed certificate signed by Premier Gladys Berejiklian to mark this important occasion.
Mr McCann recalled how Cullen Bullen had been evacuated as the fire came raging towards the town.
"We thought everything was going to be lost ... and I mean everything," Mr McCann said.
"However, a change in wind direction saw the fire go back on itself and by some sort of miracle it turned around and went the other way.
"All our volunteers are champions, just the best team of people you could imagine. They do what they do because we are all about community here at Cullen Bullen. That's what is so special about this place."
Mr Toole said Mr McCann and the members of his brigade are unsung heroes to their community.
"Darcy accepted the award on behalf of everyone in his crew," Mr Toole said.
"In fact, residents from Cullen Bullen were so appreciative of their RFS heroes they gathered to thank their local brigade for their bravery when defending the area from bushfires.
"A special dinner was organised by the local Progress Association earlier this year where the community united as one to say thank you to the volunteers for going above and beyond the call of duty."
Captain Darcy McCann and his troops were given a standing ovation as their efforts were officially acknowledged by guests including Bathurst MP Paul Toole and Lithgow councillor Maree Statham.
"The community just wanted to do something to say thank you to these special people who put their lives on the line for not only their local community, but in other areas too," Mr Toole said.
At the time Cullen Bullen Progress Association president Agnes Tilley presented a special certificate of recognition to Captain McCann who was clearly humbled by all the fuss.